Australian Institute of Criminology

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Protecting the occupational health and safety of police officers

Trends & issues in crime and criminal justice no. 197

Claire Mayhew
ISBN 0 642 24218 6 ISSN 0817-8542
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, February 2001


The patterns of injury, illness and homicide among police officers are often predictable. Based on international research, this paper outlines a range of preventive strategies for reducing risk in police occupational health and safety. Technical interventions may include: body armour, capsicum sprays, unarmed combat skills, risk reduction during raids on clandestine drug laboratories, and reducing the risk of contracting communicable diseases. Administrative strategies may include improved recognition of high risk situations; reducing the risks of excessive stress and fatigue; and risk reduction through training, including training in conflict resolution skills.

This project was funded by the Crime Prevention Branch of the Criminal Justice Division, Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department.